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GPs cannot refuse to treat patients who refuse to wear a face covering 

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gps cannot refuse to treat patients who refuse to wear a face covering

GPs aren’t allowed to refuse to treat patients who won’t cover their face, according to controversial new NHS guidance.  

Government advice given to the public says that face coverings are needed in NHS settings, including hospitals and GP surgeries. 

But family doctors have now been told that they are not allowed to refuse treatment to patients who refuse to wear one.

One GP criticised the decision and called it ‘barmy’, saying practices have a ‘duty of care to other patients, carers and staff’. 

NHS England told doctors that patients ‘should not be refused entry to a premises or access to care if they are unable to or refuse to’ wear a face mask. 

The instruction added: ‘It is not a legal requirement in healthcare settings for people to wear a face covering. 

‘Government advice says you should wear a face covering in enclosed spaces if you can, including places such as primary care services.

‘However, a patient shouldn’t be refused entry to a premises or access to care if they are unable to, or refuse to, wear a covering. This should be clearly communicated to all patients.’ 

GPs are not allowed to refuse to treat patients who refuse to wear a face covering, according to new 'barmy' NHS guidance

GPs are not allowed to refuse to treat patients who refuse to wear a face covering, according to new 'barmy' NHS guidance

GPs are not allowed to refuse to treat patients who refuse to wear a face covering, according to new ‘barmy’ NHS guidance

Dr Grant Ingrams, a GP in Leicestershire, told Pulse, a monthly news magazine on primary care: ‘It is barmy to state that practices must not only see patients who just refuse to wear a face covering but must advertise that they will do this. 

‘Practices have a duty of care to other patients, carers and staff in the practice.’ 

The email, from NHS England to all GPs, said that practices must now give face-to-face consultations as well as video, online and phone appointments whenever necessary. 

It said that GPs should access which patients need to be seen in person based on how urgent their condition is.  

The letter from NHS England said: ‘All GP practices must offer face-to-face appointments at their surgeries as well as continuing to use remote triage and video, online and telephone consultation wherever appropriate – whilst also considering those who are unable to access or engage with digital services.’  

The number of NHS patients who have been forced to wait more than a year for treatment in London is 20 times the figure for the whole of England in 2019

The number of NHS patients who have been forced to wait more than a year for treatment in London is 20 times the figure for the whole of England in 2019

The number of NHS patients who have been forced to wait more than a year for treatment in London is 20 times the figure for the whole of England in 2019

YOU’LL HAVE TO BOOK A&E VISITS THIS WINTER

Patients will be asked to book an A&E appointment by calling 111 this winter, NHS bosses have been told. 

The plans, revealed in a board meeting for NHS England and NHS Improvement yesterday, are set to be put in place before December. 

But hospitals will not turn away patients who turn up without calling ahead of their visit, it was claimed.

Pilot studies of the ring-ahead scheme at casualty departments in Portsmouth and London have reportedly produced good results.  

The plans to ‘transform’ A&E care will move towards scrapping the four-hour waiting time target, it was also revealed.

Hospitals will be asked to rapidly adjust to the measures and make improvements as they go, according to board papers seen by The Times

NHS trusts across England currently work off a four-hour wait time target to operate emergency departments. 

The standard is 95 per cent of patients visiting A&E should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours. 

However, the NHS has failed to hit its four-hour benchmark for almost five years in a row. 

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A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: ‘It is mandatory for face coverings to be worn on public transport and in enclosed spaces like shops and supermarkets.

‘And we strongly encourage the wearing of face coverings in other public spaces, such as healthcare settings, where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.’ 

Matt Hancock said last week all NHS consultations should be done over the phone or on video unless there was a ‘compelling clinical reason not to’.

He argued even in some emergencies, people should try to go online before turning up at A&E. 

Mr Hancock told the Royal College of Physicians that the NHS must not ‘fall back into bad old habits’ following the pandemic.

The Health Secretary’s comments led to a backlash from patient groups, who said online consultations ‘cannot be allowed to become the new normal’.

Charity Age UK warned many older people have struggled to access NHS help online during the pandemic, especially those with poor internet or hearing problems. 

GPs have also been instructed to get in touch with vulnerable patients and those ‘whose care may have been delayed’ to tell them about catch-up programmes for vaccinations and screenings.   

It comes as NHS England chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, told hospital bosses to get back to ‘near-normal’ levels of activity or they could face a fine. 

Leaked performance data showed 19,775 patients in London were waiting longer than 12 months for procedures such as hip or knee ops by July 19. 

In contrast, only 1,032 people across the entire country had not started treatment within a year of being referred in July 2019.  

NHS data last month revealed 1.5million patients in England were forced to wait at least 18 weeks to start treatment, the most since 2007. Under the health service’s own rulebook, patients should be treated within 18 weeks of a GP referral.  

Health bosses fear it could take up to four years to clear the growing backlog of patients needing treatment.

The overall waiting list — at a record-high of 4.4million before the pandemic struck — was described as ticking time bomb.

Top medics have since warned it has detonated, with the decision to postpone tens of thousands of operations during the crisis causing backlog to grow.

The data for London — seen by The Independent — was submitted to NHS England by 23 hospitals across the country.

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Sir Graham Brady accuses Boris Johnson of ‘ruling by decree’

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sir graham brady accuses boris johnson of ruling by decree

Sir Graham Brady today accused Boris Johnson of ‘ruling by decree’ during the coronavirus crisis as Tory MPs demanded any move to reimpose lockdown is put to a vote in the House of Commons. 

The chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbench MPs suggested the Government has been treating people ‘as children’ during the pandemic.

He is tabling an amendment which would require the Government to put any new lockdown measures to a vote of MPs. 

There is growing anger among Tory figures about the way in which the Government has imposed measures over the last six months without first consulting Parliament amid fears new rules will be rolled out in the coming weeks to tackle a surge in cases.

Sir Graham’s intervention came after the Supreme Court’s first female president said Parliament had ‘surrendered’ powers to the Government during the pandemic.  

Baroness Brenda Hale, who served as president at the UK’s highest court from 2017- 2020, criticised the draconian measures and ‘sweeping’ powers being imposed on the British public without the say of MPs.    

Sir Graham Brady today accused ministers of 'ruling by decree' during the coronavirus crisis

Sir Graham Brady today accused ministers of 'ruling by decree' during the coronavirus crisis

Sir Graham Brady today accused ministers of ‘ruling by decree’ during the coronavirus crisis

The senior Tory claimed Boris Johnson, pictured running this morning, has treated people as children' during the crisis

The senior Tory claimed Boris Johnson, pictured running this morning, has treated people as children' during the crisis

The senior Tory claimed Boris Johnson, pictured running this morning, has treated people as children’ during the crisis

Sir Graham told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme: ‘I think what we have also seen over the last six months is the Government has got into the habit of, in respect to the coronavirus issue, ruling by decree without usual debate and discussion and votes in Parliament that we would expect on any other matter.’

Told that the nature of the crisis required the Government to have the ability to act swiftly, Sir Graham said: ‘It is a very important, very serious situation, something that obviously the Government needs to have some powers to act. 

‘Arguably the Government already has the powers under the Civil Contingencies Act but that would entail very frequent and close parliamentary review and scrutiny. 

‘So really what I am proposing is that we make sure the powers that are exercised under the Public Health Act or the Coronavirus Act should be subject to the same regular parliamentary scrutiny and approval as the Civil Contingencies Act would be as well.’ 

He added: ‘Governments find it entirely possible to put things to Parliament very quickly when it is convenient for them to do so.’      

Sir Graham said MPs must be able to seek ‘proper answers’ on the measures being proposed before they are put in place as he suggested Parliament may not be willing to vote for a second national lockdown. 

‘The British people aren’t used to being treated as children,’ he said. 

‘We expect in this country to have a parliamentary democracy where our elected representatives on our behalf can require proper answers to these things from the government and not just have things imposed on them.’ 

Asked what would happen if MPs were given a vote on whether to proceed with a second lockdown, Sir Graham said: ‘I think it is a very interesting question because I think opinion in the country and in parliament is starting to move.’ 

His comments came after Baroness Hale lashed out at the Government’s use of draconian powers and at Parliament’s apparent willingness to allow ministers to act without normal levels of scrutiny.   

Baroness Brenda Hale, who served as president at the UK's highest court from 2017- 2020, criticised 'sweeping' powers being enforced on the public without the scrutiny of Parliament

Baroness Brenda Hale, who served as president at the UK's highest court from 2017- 2020, criticised 'sweeping' powers being enforced on the public without the scrutiny of Parliament

Baroness Brenda Hale, who served as president at the UK’s highest court from 2017- 2020, criticised ‘sweeping’ powers being enforced on the public without the scrutiny of Parliament

She claimed Parliament ‘did surrender control to the Government at a crucial time’ and urged ministers to now restore a ‘properly functioning constitution’.

She added: ‘My plea is that we get back to a properly functioning constitution as soon as we possibly can.’ 

In an essay seen by The Guardian, the baroness also said the way in which the powers were used had led to confusion. 

She said: ‘It is not surprising the police were as confused as the public as to what was law and what was not.’

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Matt Smith puts on a very cosy display with director Sophie Russell as they enjoy a rickshaw ride

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matt smith puts on a very cosy display with director sophie russell as they enjoy a rickshaw ride

His love life became the focus of heightened speculation when he was spotted enjoying a night out with Game Of ThronesEmilia Clarke last week.

But Matt Smith put on a very cosy display with director Sophie Russell as he left the Groucho club in Soho, London on Tuesday.

The actor, 37, was pictured stroking her hair as they waited in the street before getting a rickshaw.  

New love? Matt Smith put on a very cosy display with director Sophie Russell as he left the Groucho club in Soho, London on Tuesday

New love? Matt Smith put on a very cosy display with director Sophie Russell as he left the Groucho club in Soho, London on Tuesday

New love? Matt Smith put on a very cosy display with director Sophie Russell as he left the Groucho club in Soho, London on Tuesday

Matt cut a casual figure in a blue T-shirt and white shorts. 

He teamed the look with white trainers, a black rucksack and a silver pendant necklace. 

Sophie, meanwhile, looked effortlessly chic in a dotty monochrome dress, trainers and a black suede biker jacket. 

Fun date: The actor, 37, was pictured stroking her hair as they waited in the street before getting a rickshaw

Fun date: The actor, 37, was pictured stroking her hair as they waited in the street before getting a rickshaw

Fun date: The actor, 37, was pictured stroking her hair as they waited in the street before getting a rickshaw

Sparks flying: The pair put on a tactile display

Sparks flying: The pair put on a tactile display

Romance on the cards? They playfully flirted with one another as they strolled around Soho

Romance on the cards? They playfully flirted with one another as they strolled around Soho

Sparks flying: The pair put on a tactile display, playfully flirting with one another as they strolled around Soho

Interesting: Matt's love life became the focus of heightened speculation when he was spotted enjoying a night out with Game Of Thrones' Emilia Clarke last week. Pictured together in 2016

Interesting: Matt's love life became the focus of heightened speculation when he was spotted enjoying a night out with Game Of Thrones' Emilia Clarke last week. Pictured together in 2016

Interesting: Matt’s love life became the focus of heightened speculation when he was spotted enjoying a night out with Game Of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke last week. Pictured together in 2016 

She wore her brunette locks in sleek straight centre-parting and accessorised her stylish ensemble with a white rope bag.

Despite the nation being urged to keep our distance to halt a second wave of the pandemic, Matt didn’t appear to be taking the advice too seriously when it came to his social life.

The pair put on a tactile display, playfully flirting with one another as they strolled around Soho.  

Casually-clad: Matt cut a casual figure in a blue T-shirt and white shorts

Casually-clad: Matt cut a casual figure in a blue T-shirt and white shorts

Casually-clad: Matt cut a casual figure in a blue T-shirt and white shorts

Low-key: He teamed the look with white trainers, a black rucksack and a silver pendant necklace

Low-key: He teamed the look with white trainers, a black rucksack and a silver pendant necklace

Low-key: He teamed the look with white trainers, a black rucksack and a silver pendant necklace

Lovestruck: At one point, Matt stroked her hair and smiled

Lovestruck: At one point, Matt stroked her hair and smiled

Lovestruck: At one point, Matt stroked her hair and smiled

All the feels: Matt's mystery woman playfully grasped his hand as they flirted with one another

All the feels: Matt's mystery woman playfully grasped his hand as they flirted with one another

All the feels: Matt’s mystery woman playfully grasped his hand as they flirted with one another

Gorgeous: Sophie looked effortlessly chic in a dotty monochrome dress, trainers and a black suede biker jacket

Gorgeous: Sophie looked effortlessly chic in a dotty monochrome dress, trainers and a black suede biker jacket

Gorgeous: Sophie looked effortlessly chic in a dotty monochrome dress, trainers and a black suede biker jacket

She's got style: She wore her brunette locks in sleek straight centre-parting and accessorised her stylish ensemble with a white rope bag

She's got style: She wore her brunette locks in sleek straight centre-parting and accessorised her stylish ensemble with a white rope bag

She’s got style: She wore her brunette locks in sleek straight centre-parting and accessorised her stylish ensemble with a white rope bag

Sophie giggled as they sat in the back of a rickshaw after their fun night out. 

After their rickshaw ride, the pair were spotted getting into a black cab. 

MailOnline has contacted Matt’s representatives for comment.  

Tactile: The pair kept on touching each other as they stood waiting for their rickshaw

Tactile: The pair kept on touching each other as they stood waiting for their rickshaw

Date going well: They certainly looked like they had plenty to talk about

Date going well: They certainly looked like they had plenty to talk about

Tactile: The pair kept on touching each other as they stood waiting for their rickshaw

Chatty: Matt appeared deep in conversation with Sophie after leaving the bar

Chatty: Matt appeared deep in conversation with Sophie after leaving the bar

Chatty: Matt appeared deep in conversation with Sophie after leaving the bar

Chemistry: She giggled as they sat in the back of a rickshaw after their fun night out

Chemistry: She giggled as they sat in the back of a rickshaw after their fun night out

Chemistry: She giggled as they sat in the back of a rickshaw after their fun night out

Earlier this month, Matt sent tongues wagging when he was spotted enjoying a night out with Game Of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke. 

The pair – who appeared together in the 2015 movie Terminator: Genisys – were all smiles as they sauntered through Soho together on Friday night.

Emilia and Matt looked to be enjoying one another’s company as they strolled after having dinner at the Russian-inspired Bob Bob Ricard restaurant.   

Enchanting: The pair couldn't take their eyes off each other

Enchanting: The pair couldn't take their eyes off each other

Enchanting: The pair couldn’t take their eyes off each other

Flirtatious: The pair looked very cosy as they waited for their taxi

Flirtatious: The pair looked very cosy as they waited for their taxi

Just the two of us: They held hands as they waited

Just the two of us: They held hands as they waited

Flirtatious: The pair looked very cosy as they waited for their taxi 

Having a blast: The pair couldn't stop smiling after leaving the swanky London bar

Having a blast: The pair couldn't stop smiling after leaving the swanky London bar

Having a blast: The pair couldn’t stop smiling after leaving the swanky London bar 

Ride: After their rickshaw ride, Matt and Sophie were spotted getting into a black cab

Ride: After their rickshaw ride, Matt and Sophie were spotted getting into a black cab

Ride: After their rickshaw ride, Matt and Sophie were spotted getting into a black cab

He split from actress Lily James nine months ago, having previously dated model Daisy Lowe, the daughter of rock star Gavin Rossdale. 

Screen star Matt was also romantically linked to Karen Gillan, his co-star when he was Doctor Who between 2010 and 2013.

He met Lily a year later on the set of the film Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, but they split amid rumours of his close friendship with Claire Foy, who starred opposite him as the Queen in The Crown.

By comparison, Emilia – who was named Esquire magazine’s Sexiest Woman Alive in 2015 – has had an uncomplicated love life. 

She recently split from director and writer Charlie McDowell, the son of actor Malcolm McDowell and US actress Mary Steenburgen. 

She previously dated Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the US animated comedy Family Guy.  

Ex: The Crown star split from actress Lily James nine months ago, having previously dated model Daisy Lowe, the daughter of rock star Gavin Rossdale (pictured in 2017)

Ex: The Crown star split from actress Lily James nine months ago, having previously dated model Daisy Lowe, the daughter of rock star Gavin Rossdale (pictured in 2017)

Ex: The Crown star split from actress Lily James nine months ago, having previously dated model Daisy Lowe, the daughter of rock star Gavin Rossdale (pictured in 2017)

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Thousands of Britons fined over ‘unclear and ambiguous’ Covid lockdown rules

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Thousands of Britons are being fined for breaking ‘unclear and ambiguous,’ Covid-19 lockdown rules, a committee of MPs has warned. 

The Joint Committee on Human Rights said it was ‘unacceptable’ that ‘many thousands’ were receiving fixed penalty notices (FPNs) despite evidence the police did not fully understand their powers and with no means of redress.

It said the way the regulations were being enforced by the police was having a ‘disproportionate impact’ on young men from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

Police are able to issue fines to anyone flouting social distancing rules. Officers are patrolling busy spots like Richmond Park to ensure people adhere to the restrictions

Police are able to issue fines to anyone flouting social distancing rules. Officers are patrolling busy spots like Richmond Park to ensure people adhere to the restrictions

Police are able to issue fines to anyone flouting social distancing rules. Officers are patrolling busy spots like Richmond Park to ensure people adhere to the restrictions

Although FPNs could result in fines in excess of £10,000 there is currently no realistic way for people to challenge the

‘This will invariably lead to injustice as members of the public who have been unfairly targeted with an FPN have no means of redress and police will know that their actions are unlikely to be scrutinised,’ the committee said.

It warned many of the regulations were ‘confusingly named’ making it difficult for people to establish what they were and were not entitled to do.

MPs have heard new fines are 'unclear,' and may unfairly target people, particularly young men, from BAME backgrounds

MPs have heard new fines are 'unclear,' and may unfairly target people, particularly young men, from BAME backgrounds

MPs have heard new fines are ‘unclear,’ and may unfairly target people, particularly young men, from BAME backgrounds

With the regulations changing on average once a week, it called for greater clarity from the Government as to what was prohibited by the criminal law.

‘More care must be taken by the Government to distinguish between advice, guidance and the law, in media announcements as well as in official online sources,’ the committee said.

Lockdown fines across Britain

The highest fine for flouting social distancing rules is £10,000, which can be issued to any organiser of an illegal gathering.

Fixed penalty notices vary in cost across Britain, the Met Police sets them out as follows:  

England (over 18s):

£100 for the first offence, lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days.

£200 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £3,200.

Wales (over 18s):

£60 for the first offence, which may be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days.

£120 for the second offence and for each further offence.

Scotland (over 16s):

£60 for the first offence, lowered to £30 if paid within 28 days.

£120 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £960.

Northern Ireland (over 18s): 

£60 for the first offence, lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days.

£120 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £960. 

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‘In particular, more must be done to make the up to date regulations themselves (not only guidance) clearly accessible online, particularly as the law has changed, on average, once a week.

‘It ought to be straightforward for a member of the public to find out what the current criminal law is, nationally and in their local area, without having to trawl through multiple sets of confusingly named regulations.’

Committee chairwoman Harriet Harman said: ‘Confusion over what is law and what is merely guidance has left citizens open to disproportionate and unequal levels of punishment for breaking the rules, and unfortunately, it seems that once again, this is overtly affecting BAME individuals.

‘The Government must learn from these mistakes to ensure that any additional lockdowns do not unfairly impact specific groups.’

The committee also expressed concern about the extent of the use of Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) notices in care homes during the pandemic, warning that their blanket use would be unlawful.

It urged the Department of Health to take a ‘more proportionate approach’ when it came to issuing guidance on visiting care homes, and called on ministers to ensure homes were not imposing blanket bans on visitors.

‘Restrictions on visiting rights must only be implemented on the basis of an individualised risk assessment and such risk assessment must take into account the risks to the person’s emotional wellbeing and mental health of not having visits,’ it said.

The committee said ministers should organise ‘a quick, interim review’ into deaths from coronavirus to ensure key lessons were learned in advance of any second peak in the autumn and winter.

A Government spokesperson said they had worked closely with the police throughout the pandemic, and officers had enforced regulations only as a last resort.

They added: ‘Both Houses (of Parliament) have opportunities to scrutinise and debate all regulations, which must be approved by both Houses within 28 days to remain in force. This is the same way all lockdown regulations have been made and none have been voted down.’

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